Newton hat-trick elevates Wigan

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The Independent Online

Wigan returned to the top of Super League yesterday while Huddersfield-Sheffield raised their hopes of avoiding the wooden spoon with their first win in six games. Castleford made sure of fifth spot for the second successive season.

Wigan returned to the top of Super League yesterday while Huddersfield-Sheffield raised their hopes of avoiding the wooden spoon with their first win in six games. Castleford made sure of fifth spot for the second successive season.

Wigan were trailing 16-14 at Warrington after Allan Langer crossed for his second try three minutes into the second half, but hopes of a surprise victory for the home side were dashed by a devastating three-try burst in 11 minutes. Terry Newton scored a hat-trick and the full-back Kris Radlinski claimed the 100th try of his Wigan career as the Warriors triumphed 50-20.

London Broncos, who dismissed their coach John Monie five days ago, continued their dismal run with a 30-16 defeat at Castleford. The Broncos, who have won only five games this season, came back from 20-4 down to make a game of it by reducing the arrears to 20-16 shortly after half-time. However, the Tigers, with the winger Darren Rogers and centre Mike Eagar both scoring two tries, ran out comfortable winners to secure a play-off place.

The Castleford coach, Stuart Raper, was not happy with his side's display. "There were times we should have put them away, but we could not finish them off," he said. "Maybe I will have to lift the intensity in training a little."

Tony Rea, the London chief executive in charge as caretaker coach after Monie's departure, said: "After getting back into the game, we could not get a roll on. I was pleased with the effort. A big plus is that the players are very disappointed with their own performance."

Huddersfield-Sheffield gain-ed their third win of the season over Wakefield to cut the gap on London to two points with two games remaining. Gene Ngamu scored a try and kicked a crucial penalty to help the Giants to a 16-14 success at the McAlpine Stadium.

The Huddersfield-Sheffield coach, Phil Veivers, spoke of his relief after his team had finally ended Super League's longest losing run with a 16-14 success. Their last victory came over Warrington six weeks ago, and Veivers said: "It was not a pretty win but it was two points. The players stuck to their task, and I'm delighted with the result. They got the result today and can go out and celebrate - but it's back to work on Monday."

Two tries in the last five minutes gave Salford a dramatic 33-24 victory over Hull at The Willows. Jon Roper went over three minutes from time and his score was converted by Steve Blakeley to make it 26-24, before Graham Holroyd added a drop goal in the final seconds. Martin Offiah then grabbed his second try of the match to cap a remarkable comeback.

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